POL 150C1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Substantive Rights, Positive Liberty, Deism

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POL 150: Politics of Happiness - Lecture 3: The American Dream Continued
Wednesday 9/10/14
“The American Dream”
Procedural & Substantive Rights
Debate over the structure and power of the government raging, our early thinking
driven by procedural rights
Procedural rights are those that concern the mechanics of democracy;
elections, freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.
Over time, increasing attention to substantive rights.
Substantive rights concern the quality of life of citizens: education,
healthcare, and eldercare
"The American Dream" & Education
Education & upward mobility
U.S. leads the way with this substantive right
Policy-spending imperatives (and these are often fiercely debated).
Secondary education for (1st half 20th century)
GI Bill (middle 20th century)
Preschool (21st century)
Benjamin Franklin — an American original:
1706-90; Philadelphia
Printer, publisher & author, Scientist, Intellectual, Politician
“The First American”, “Only President of the United States who has never been
Seminal in defining the American ethos as an integration of the practical and
democratic values of thrift, hard work, education community spirit, self governing
institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism (both political and religious) with
the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment.
Community Commitment:
created the first lending library (public)
Started 1st volunteer firefighting unit
Role in first hospital in the US
Franklin’s religiosity & religious tolerance; puritan roots, but a Deist; core beliefs:
There is a God that made all things
God governs the world by His providence
Most acceptable service to God is doing good to man
Soul is immortal
God will reward virtue and punish vice
Franklin & the French
minister to France 1778-85
Sophistication of the gifted ordinary man
"Separation of church and state?”
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